Jewellery

It’s been an exhausting week, I only got home at 3am last night from working at the night festival. I had to drag myself out of bed because there is still so much to do. Before I get started on any work, I usually spend the first waking hours hunting for some inspiration. Today, I chanced upon two stores which I can’t believe I haven’t seen earlier on!

I really love handcrafted goods that are fun to have, especially if it’s something I can totally imagine the maker sitting in their room and taking their time to craft it out. Tactile craft goods are really my calling!

Benu

(Benu Leather Jewellery here)

Benu’s leather jewellery are absolutely cute and yet so wearable! I am literally going bananas over the banana necklace! What I love about Benu’s new collection is the striking colour palette, it’s got the classy gold and a pop of playful bright colours. It’s easy to see this paired with most outfits. I like how she’s not going over the top and keeping it simple!

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(I am Acrylic here)

I found I am Acrylic in my email through the Supermarket Sarah mailing list, which everyone should check out! They curate a ton of awesome goods from the most amazing creatives! I am Acrylic make very quirky goods and hand cuts all of their work, mostly with a fretsaw! It has been ages since I touched a fretsaw, most Singaporeans would remember using it to make cut out acrylic bowls.

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(I am Acrylic / Desert Island here)

I am in love with their landscape pieces – a house in the mountains, along the seaside and on a desert island! I always have so much respect for people that work with small things as it’s incredibly tedious and you know they really love what they do or they wouldn’t be doing it! Xo.

 

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The Bearded Men

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I have been painting and working on several things with clay lately. I blame it on the bad influence from all my workshop classes. Kidding! I love you, clay! You know, I might suffer from a little obsessive compulsive behaviour when working on certain projects. I reach a big fat high and just feel a desperate need to do more and more and more. It’s almost as if I have to reach the quota of exhaustion before deciding to quit. These bearded men are the perfect example of the addictive urge to create! Making the simplest of things puts you through a therapuetic state of mind and you find a sort of calmness amidst the chaos, which we so lovingly call life.

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I am considering putting my men up in the shop if these painting experiments are successful. At the moment, I’m leaning towards getting some wood cut ovals for the faces. But, I do need better brushes for painting and to start learning to take care of them properly! I am guilty of not washing my brushes and leaving paint to clog on the bristles overnight.

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Lots of things have been on my mind as well – playing around with different visual palettes, how to style small objects and working with my one and only light source (our dear sun!). It is not easy to make things look beautiful! One of my goals this year is to push myself to just create whatever comes to mind and not throw away the bad ideas. I remember watching an interview where Marina Abramovic said she got her students to come up with ideas and to toss the good ones in one basket and the bad ones in another. Eventually, she made them choose and use their rejected ideas at the end of the day. According to her, those are the best ones! Something to think about! Time to harness my chi and put the negative thoughts aside. The truth is, my ability to focus is poor and I am the ultimate worry wart. It sucks and I’m still working on it.

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Till then, gonna be keeping my chin up! Xo.

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Cactus Matchbox Diorama I

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The first time I attempted doing a matchbox diorama was through a swap on swap-bot 2 or 3 years ago. I remember making a mini television and filling it with all things purple, pink and sparkly. Thinking back, it sounds awfully bubblegum pop. I am obsessed with miniatures, so it’s no surprise that I enjoy making dioramas and decorating them. My dream house would be filled with miniatures hidden in every nook and cranny, waiting to be discovered by my guests! I’m really excited to share this simple matchbox diorama tutorial, but it’s long winded, so I will be splitting it up into two posts.

Today’s post is all about making mini cactuses and I made use of the following materials:

  • Polymer clay
  • A nail dotting tool
  • Nail polish or acrylic paint
  • Small caps from used tubes
  • White glue

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I made my clay green by mixing shaved down green chalk pastels into it. My matchbox is around 3″ by 2″, so make sure your cactuses are much smaller in size. To make the cactus, roll up a small ball and slowly roll the sides into a bean shape!

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Roll another two small balls into a pill shape, these are for the arms. Attach both arms to the side, you will need to use your finger to mould the end of the arm into the body. Just be gentle and patient in smoothing out the lines. Make sure that it’s completely seamless!

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Lastly, you need to push the stiff arms up and there you have it, a cactus! Now, pop this in the oven to bake as instructed for your brand of clay. It should be as hard as a rock when it’s ready.

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Now, we are not going to be doing a realistic looking cactus with spiky thorns. Instead we will be adding polka dots to represent the thorns! A little yayoi kusama inspired, perhaps? Get ready your nail polish and nail dotting tool, you can easily substitute these with paint and a toothpick as well.

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Start off with a tiny drop of white nail polish and use your chosen dotting tool to start dotting the cactus.

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Finish up one side and let it dry before starting on the back. It’s fine if you choose not to do the back too because you wouldn’t be able to see it when it’s sitting in the matchbox.

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Next, get your cap from any used tube (for example; a toothpaste tube, a mini travel lotion bottle cap, an antiseptic tube). Remember to wash the caps clean and dry before applying glue! Bust out your glue and apply around the rims of the cap. I used E600 glue, but white glue would suffice honestly. I chose E600 as it was conveniently lying around. I hate how smelly it is! Plus it says on the backing that it can cause cancer, why the hell am I still using it?!

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Hold your breathe in and push the cactus tightly into the cap. Leave the sucker in to dry for a couple of hours.

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And boom girl, you got yourself some baby cactuses to fawn over! Hold onto them till we get to part II!

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Personality Pots

Give me something with a cute face on it and I would go weak in the knees in seconds! Don’t you just want to pick these up and cuddle them right away? I have been stalking some of these ceramics for ages and badly want one in my house! It’s also spurred me on to come up with more personality-type pieces for projects because what’s not to love? Although, I do already see myself doing that more often that usual.

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image(Atelier Stella Planters here)

image(Wacamole Ceramic Planters here)

image(Charlotte Mei Bread Tile here, The Sill Face Planter here)

image(Clay Opera Cloud here)

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Where The Wild Things Are

rp_DSC_5967-13_zpsd79068c8.jpgI work part time as an art facilitator in various communities alongside my ex-lecturer and my boyfriend. For one of our classes, we got our participants to paint on dried leaves. This project was largely inspired by a ton of leaf art on pinterest. We agreed that it would be super fun to get everyone to create imaginary leaf friends! As I did some experiments before conducting the class, I accumulated so many leafy friends and knew I had to share this quick and easy tutorial.

All you need are dried leaves, acrylic paint and paint brushes!

imageThe best ones are those that are a yellowish-brown and have fallen from the trees. If it’s too brown, they crack really easily when dried.

imageChoose a base colour for your leaves. I would suggest picking only two to three colours as limiting your colour palette helps you be more creative! I went for a monochromatic palette, just red and white. So patriotic!

imageHere are a few tips if you feel stumped on designing your leaf buddy. You can always sketch your ideas out on paper first. Play with straight lines, dots, zig zags and scallops. Change the scale of the polka dots or the thickness of a line. Keep it simple and have fun!

imageHere is how I did mine. First, I went in with horizontal lines, then I moved on to vertical and zig zag lines. Lastly, adding in some polka dots and facial features! I feel it’s easier to approach it step by step, it feels less overwhelming!

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imageWhen you are done with your friends from the wild, it’s time to hang them up to add some magic into your space! I sewed myself a long banner and used a hot glue gun to stick them down. You could also glue them onto any used cardboard.

imageWhen you get better at it, start adding embellishments! Sew on sequins, simple embroidery or even cut patterns in them. Run with it!

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